Why Businesses Will Get More Social in 2011


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Social Media along with Cloud-based services and mobile computing will be the key technology trends of 2011, according to IDC. The research firm believes that more and more businesses will turn social next year but there will be fewer social networking platforms to choose from.

The year 2011 will provide a defining moment for the mass-scale adoption of social media and social analytics (aka socialytics) in the business world. Last month, I wrote a story which explains why Garner is so bullish on the prospects of social media amongst the business fraternity. IDC has gone a step further and claims that social media will play a key role as the mainstream platform in the enterprise.

The SMB Segment

IDC believes that social media will thrive amongst small and medium-sized businesses next year. Facebook has gained massive traction amongst small businesses this year and it’s expected to further step up the ante with new business-friendly profile changes and email integration via Social Inbox.

Twitter will continue to gain popularity amongst small businesses and Jive is being projected as the next big social media platform for the business world. Social business has come of age over the past 18 months and it’s set to rise further with a staggering annual growth rate of 38% each year till 2014.

The Biggies

IDC believes that a large number of enterprises will embrace social media with open arms in 2011. Large technology giants including Microsoft, HP, IBM and others will look for acquisitions in the social media collaboration and socialytics space. In fact, social media is expected to rule the roost in 2011 for acquisitions and mergers.

Overall IT spending on social media is expected to receive a major boost next year.

Social Media & Business Analytics

Commonly known as socialytics, the amalgamation of social media and business analytics is expected to rise through the ranks next year. An increasing number of businesses will be open to using sophisticated tools to track and study customer habits on leading social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

To put it in more romantic words, the love affair between social media and business analytics is finally expected to turn into a happy marriage next year. Social media is expected to make inroads into all kind of business applications along with mobility and unified communications.

The year of convergence & consolidation

A significant proportion of business users use smartphones to access Facebook and Twitter. This number is set to rise further next year as the world witnesses the convergence of social media, mobile computing and cloud-based services.

2011 is expected to be an year of consolidation for social media and the lesser-known players are likely acquisition targets for the bigger players.

What are your social media plans for 2011? Are you planning to use more social media for your business next year? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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51 comments

  1. Gabriele Maidecchi

    Seeing the current trends in social media and social business in general, it’s a safe bet to say the numbers are gonna inflate by far in 2011. I am very curious to see what’s going to happen, especially with Google entering the social networking business with his announced +1 product.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      The trend for 2011 is ‘social’. For Google to become a major player in the space it has to stop attempting to come up with an improved versions of Twitter and Facebook and come up with a complementary or a major industry defining product. From my understanding of +1 thus far, it’s very far from being revolutionary. Let’s see what it has to offer.

      Thanks for another thought provoking comment Gabriele.

  2. StormDriver

    The basic idea is more and more people are moving to social media and social networking websites to seek opinion and keep track of companies and brands they deal with. So business has to be where clients and customers are. This also happened with TV but in that case it was just mono-directional: they knew the people were watching TV all the time so they kept beaming promotional messages. On social media it is two-way interaction so the impact also is more and direct. The best part is it is easier to measure engagement on social media compared to conventional media.

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      Well said StormDriver.

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  5. Jana Makar

    Great article. Good timing as we just had a Brown Bag Lunch session today on Twitter and how our organization can start using it. Building a Facebook presence is on the To Do List for us in January. The biggest opportunity we see for social media is engaging people in conversation, no matter where they are located. That opportunity for online, integrated conversations – that’s where the ideas are shared, the networks built and the collaborations born – and that’s how we see our business benefiting the most.

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  8. Mikko Rummukainen

    Thanks for the fantastic post! I think these are definitely some of the main trends for this year, and will certainly start to emerge and take their form even during the first half.

    Examples such as Dell’s own Social Center are huge indicators of the level of commitment larger corporations are willing to embrace, and the amount of social media consultants servicing the SMB sector specifically also tells tales of the room available in that segment.

    What I am really looking forward to this year, on a general level, is getting from all of this good advice available regarding social media strategies and how to approach its ROI to the point where we actually get to see some concrete results. Through these results we’ll start to really do some learning on what actually works and what doesn’t.

  9. Social Assistant

    Excellent post! It still amazes me that so many companies, especially large corporations, have yet to embrace social media. It can be a daunting task to take on which is probably why they haven’t quite decided to jump in yet. Let’s hope 2011 is the year for a greater amount of businesses to take hold of social media!

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